On White Walls

The walls of my room are white; not the kind that blinds your eyes but the kind that escapes notice, fading into a very light beige over the years. That tends to happen when the air where you live isn’t great.

I love my walls. I love how they reflect the diffused yellow glow of the sun that leaks through the curtains in the morning and how they don’t dissolve into the darkness when I turn off my light at night. I like how they flaunt their bruises, parts of my life that are etched into them, reminding me of a time when I was shorter and obsessed with leaving a trail of glue or paint on the wall as I ran tracing the walls with my finger. Doodles in fading pencil remind me there was a time when I wasn’t living from the table to the bed and back, of an awareness of space that belongs to the least of these, to the ones that are small enough to live in corners and edges. The white walls in my room reflect people. They reflect me. In this, they have much in common with the canvas and the paper.

Tabula Rasa. ‘Form out of me what you will’

VIBGYOR spins endlessly and dissolves into white. It’s not a lack but the fullness of personality that defines it. Infinity is a mirror. So are my walls.

A white box is the perfect cage for me. I like preserving myself way too much. In the past year, I have gone outside only twice. I spent almost all my time inside this room and I never feel like leaving it. A bit odd for an extrovert. For some reason, the white walls don’t make me feel like I’m caged in. I’m starting to believe it has something to do with how reflective they are. Of me

“There’s no skin”, I tell myself whenever I’m lying in my bed staring at the walls.

Colours are like skin; like faces. There’s so much underneath that isn’t part of the obvious; things that make us human, things that make us love, laugh, and cry. Behind colour is the universal, unifying truths of life. When I see colour, I know there’s something behind it. Experiencing it feels like reaching beyond and entering a world that is so much more than what I can see and touch. It can be an incredibly intense experience; like a passionate kiss or making love. The inadequacy of the physical body to facilitate the expression of passion makes you exert yourself in a way that ends in something that feels supernatural and sublime because you just can’t believe your body alone could provide you with something so gratifying.

The yellows of Hemingway, the red of Raskolnikov, Faulkner’s bluish grey, they’re all I can see and feel of the universal truths that lay underneath. They’re like faces of women I’ve loved, the beauty of simplicity that veils the limitless.

But let’s not speak of love today. This is about one man and one man only. White does not remind me of my ability to love another but my acceptance and regard for myself. The white walls in my room don’t tell me there’s something beyond. It tells me there is something within. It reminds me that I have things to write and say. It does not remind me of purity or flawlessness but the possibility to preserve myself because it reminds me of a blank page

I look behind dark yellows and I see sadness, I look behind reds and I know what Raskolnikov felt. But when I look behind white, all I see is me. And oh, how I love to see myself. I have things to say, things to write about. The world should know that I felt something in this life.

That’s why I never want to leave my room. That’s why a white box is the perfect cage for the artist.

P.S. I hope you understand now why the illustration/painting has the colour of skin in it.

The white wall in my hostel room

On Sublimity

For our soul is raised out of nature through the truly sublime, sways with high spirits, and is filled with proud joy, as if itself had created what it hears.

Longinus

Feel/processing the idea of who I am and what the ‘other’ is is something I try to do with a great deal of honesty. It makes for sublime moments of satisfaction and shameful moments of self-hate.

I don’t think I’m guilty of locking away parts of myself because I am too afraid see myself for who I am. I might not let everyone else see all parts of me but I see them all. I see myself and allow myself to hate who I am. It is painful but the alternative is not an option. The only solution is to learn to love myself. And I am learning…

In allowing myself to be vulnerable in the way I see myself and perceive art, I have had what I will claim to be sublime moments. What are sublime moments? Let’s just say it’s like glimpsing infinity for a moment and being utterly in awe by how much of it your mind was able to handle.

To feel the intensity of an epiphany or any form of sublimity is to be stretched and bent to the point where the irregularities which lay hidden in the shrunken folds of your everyday life become visible and obvious. In your attempt to behold everything in all its detail, you experience sublimity. When I’m listening/watching/or reading something that facilitates a sublime experience, I am made aware of an ability to feel/ attempt to feel that seems incongruous with how small and fragile my physical body is. If you take a rubber band and make a dot on it with a marker and then stretch it, the dot becomes an irregular line. That’s what is required of you to experience sublimity. As you stretch, test the limits of your ability to behold, you experience a vastness that surprises you and a resolution that matures you. You don’t need to understand what you see. The joy is in how much you stretch, how much you strain to enter uncharted territory

“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt”

Immanuel Kant

Last year, I spent quite a lot of time watching Grey’s Anatomy. I was fascinated by all the medical terms and techniques. Around that time, and even now, whenever I’m listening to a song that moves me or a particularly powerful scene in a movie, for an instant I see a vision of my chest being ripped open and a hand reaching in and pumping my heart. When it happened for the first time, I was confused. It’s such a bizarre image. But I knew it meant something and in contemplation I found the reason to be obvious. In GA, there were many times when a patient’s heart would stop mid-surgery (or something else happens. I’m not sure because I’m not a doctor) and the surgeon would manually massage/pump the heart. It’s a very powerful image. The hand reaches into the chest and cradles the heart. It’s scary. Maybe that’s why I found it be akin to the experience of intensity that comes from being able surrender to the moment, a freedom to enjoy the epiphany brought about only by the exercise of vulnerability in thought. By some cosmic grace, I was able to behold with a brutal honesty the stretching of a self shrunken by the vanity of life. It is grace because it is given to me. Many things, be it the surroundings, the music I’m listening to or a work of art by somebody, they all come together to demand an attempt to try and touch what is beyond, an attempt that would test my limits and thus provide me with a sublime experience. The patient lies on the table, powerless. The hand has to reach into the chest and make life possible.

But like I mentioned before, a hand pumping a heart is a scary image. There’s blood everywhere and you are constantly reminded that anything could go wrong. Sometimes when I let myself go and feel/think, it ends up with me in a very dark place, a place where I hate myself and fear the future. It feels like imploding. Not too long ago, I had what I think was a panic attack. It felt like I was falling into myself forever and there was no way to escape, to make it all stop. Sometimes that’s where I end up when I allow my mind to be vulnerable

But even in all the darkness, there is an awe of newfound depth of experience. Monsters may not be beautiful but they can be sublime. To feel myself being stretched to the limit, bent to the point of breaking as I try to understand what the darkness is excites me even when it brings me pain. As the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

I do not quite understand what it all means yet. But I feel like I’m onto something big.

If you look at the painting I made for this post (at the beginning of the post), you’ll see how the person is on his knees with his back bent backwards. That’s a posture I identify with the experience of epiphany. It’s a picture of surrender that is not inspired by fear or reverence but by a lack of it. To bend down with your face to the ground can also lead to an intense experience. There is definitely an experience of freedom and sublimity in reverence and submission. But that’s a topic for another day.

If you’ve read my post ‘Obsessed with loss of potential.jpg’ (https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2021/07/10/obsessed-with-loss-of-potential-jpg/), you’ve prolly seen this painting.

In the above slideshow, you can see the entire painting and also the part of it I want to mention here. In the 1st slide, you’ll see how the character has the same posture as the person in the painting at the top of this post. Back bent backwards. This painting however, is less dark/depressing than the one at the top. The latter is what the imploding I mentioned earlier feels like. It’s painful, dark, and scary. But the fact that this dark tornado of depressing thoughts came from me is something that intrigues me. In this, such experiences are sometimes sublime. On a completely different note, how funny is it that I find yellow be a very depressing colour??

I don’t know if you’re still reading. To be honest, this is more for me than it is for you. I write because I need to make sense of all the thoughts that plague me. I’m sorry if I haven’t made things simpler. These posts are written in one sitting and usually when I’m sleep-deprived and tired. I rarely edit. I just want to get my thoughts out there. To do anything more is something I don’t have strength for at the moment.

I care about all of you as a blogger, in a way that is made possible by the sheer humanity that is on display on this platform.

Cheers!

Sunshine Blogger Award!

It’s so awesome to be part of something like this. I’d like to thank my dear friend, Stuart L. Tutt for nominating me. He shares his life, the highs and he lows, at his site over at stubaby777.wordpress.com. He loves God and it’s a great joy to be a part of his life here at WordPress.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Here are the rules :

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

Here are Stu’s questions to his nominees along with my answers to them:

1. What brings joy to your life?

First of all, my family brings a great deal of joy into my life. A lot of great friends (including the ones here at WordPress) also are a big part of my life. But when it comes down to it, on a very personal and intimate level, I find great joy in art. Although music is what I enjoy most, I still find a great deal of joy in many other art forms. And I’m thankful to God for that every single day.

2. If money was not an issue, what would be your dream job?

That’s a great question. I really want to be that guy who goes on stage and does ted talks and inspires people. I really have this dream of being able to combine philosophy ,music and art and being able to present that to people. If I could make a living out of that, that would be awesome. I love being on stage and sharing something I care about.

3. What are two gifts the Lord has blessed you with, spiritually or physically?

I would say music and confidence. But that being said, there are a lot of other things that I am very grateful for. But those are the two that popped up in my brain first.

4. What post or posts touched you so deeply that you felt “everyone needs to read this!”?

That is a hard question because I’ve not been on WordPress for a long time. So, I’ll just mention one post I really enjoyed in my meagre exploring on my Reader. Tosin over at Alethea’s Mind wrote this beautiful post called Sitting. Watching. Doing. Nothing. You can read it here: https://aletheasmind.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/sitting-watching-doing-nothing/

5. Which blogger would you do a Blogger Spotlight on and why?

To be honest, Stu, you’d be one for sure. I think you have a lot to say, whether it be about your journey out of pornography or just about life.

6. What does love mean to you?

Now that is one hard question! But nevertheless, I’ll try to make it as short as I can. I believe love holds everything together. The Bible says that ‘God is love’. That’s such an interesting line. It’s the most powerful reason possible for something. And I believe that true love brings truth into perspective.

7. If you could choose one attribute of Jesus to follow closer than any other, which one would it be?

I would love to be as approachable as Jesus is.

8. In your eyes, what is the hardest part of being a Christian?

Learning the true meaning of humility.

9. What do you want to be most remembered for?

I want to be remembered by my face and not by name( I might make that into a log post in a few days). I want to be known as the one who stayed when everyone else left. I want to be someone who believed in people.

10. Which Bible verse holds the most meaning to you and why?

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21. This verse empowers me spiritually because I have been given freely a position that now gives me perspective. And this perspective is what helps me lead the life that God wants for me.

11. Since it’s July, how do you celebrate the 4th?

Since I’m Indian, I don’t necessarily celebrate July the fourth. But I’m really happy for my American friends and share in their joy. But this past July 4th, I woke up in the afternoon, had a great lunch, went out and made some music. 🙂

My Nominees:

Tosin over at Alethea’s Mind: aletheasmind.wordpress.com

Teen, Meet God over at https://teenmeetgod.wordpress.com/

And anyone else who want to do it for fun.

My Questions:

  1. Do you know a really funny joke? If you do, share it!
  2. What in your opinion, is the most underrated song, book, movie, TV series, or anything for that matter?
  3. How do you enjoy nature?
  4. What is your favourite instrument?
  5. Hymns or contemporary music?
  6. If you could tell the whole word one single word, what word would that be?
  7. Do you think we should protect nature? If yes, then why?
  8. The year you enjoyed most in your life.
  9. One thing you’re thankful for as a human being.
  10. What makes you feel loved?
  11. A skill you developed on your own.

I just want to let everyone know that anyone is welcome to attempt any of these questions. Answer them in the comments. It could be a great way to connect.

Once again I thank Stu for this opportunity. Hope you guys have blast just existing on this beautiful planet!